You Are What You Read

Reviews of books as I read them. This is basically a (web)log of books I've read.

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Location: Lawrenceville, Georgia, United States

I am a DBA/database analyst by day, full time father on evenings and weekends.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The New World

I finally got around to reading The New World, Michael A. Stackpole's final installment in his Age of Discovery trilogy.

There are many characters and many plot lines in the story. Keles Anturasi is fleeing his abductors and strange creatures that have been sent after him. He is traveling with his bodyguard Tyressa and Princess Jasai, who both love him. His brother Jorim is living as a reborn god, and has to deal with his goddess sister and god brothers, one of whom is Grija, the god of death. Ciras Dejote is a swordsman who is traveling with the awakened warriors who swore centuries earlier to protect the empress. Prince Cyron and Prince Pyrust are two princes who were once at each other's throats, but now have joined under the returned empress to fight the invader, Prince Nelesquin. Virisken Soshir is an ancient warrior whose memory has returned.
A former prince and lover of the empress, he fights to protect the empire against Nelesquin.

Nelesquin is allied with Qiro Anturasi, Keles' grandfather, who can manipulate the world to match his maps. He has magical warriors sworn ages ago to join him. And he has created, with the help of Qiro, magical creatures to help in his conquest of the empire.

The plot is fast moving and vast. Jorim has to face Nessagafel, the father of the gods, who wishes to destroy creation and start over. Nessagafel ends up trapping him in the ninth Hell, and he has to figure out a way to get out. Nelesquin conquers the most secure fortress in the empire and moves against Moriande. He defeats Prince Pyrust, and then kills him when Pyrust tries to poison him. He captures the southern half of Moriande, and great battles ensue. Keles discovers he has powers like his grandfather, and has to figure out how to stop him from destroying the world.

Ciras loses an arm in a battle, and has it replaced by a magical arm. Each side in the battle comes up with different magical creatures to destroy the other side. Soshir comes up with brilliant tactics to save more time, but it is eventually Keles who must save the land from Qiro. Jorim's sister Nirati travels to Hell to save her brother, with the help of a recreated Pyrust. In the end, Nessagafel is defeated by Cyron, who is murdered and reborn as a god, and the goddess of wisdom. Nelesquin is defeated when his body is destroyed by a young boy, and his warriors quickly fall.

The story is complicated, and the author almost manages to keep it all together. I think in the end there are just too many threads to keep track of. But the pieces do come together well in the end. The destruction of the invaders is well thought out and satisfying. Each bad guy meets a different end. The characters are not terribly complex. The most interesting one is Keles, who has to deal with the loss of his sister, his missing brother, and his deranged grandfather, all while learning about his new powers. Jorim also has to deal with a complex situation. The author makes the plot seem inevitable, all the while throwing new wrinkles into everything. It's a mostly satisfying end to the series. The trilogy ended up being different than I had imagined, but still a good read. B+.


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